A Filipino dies every two seconds everyday due to poor sanitation. This is one alarming fact I've heard today attending the first-ever "Philippine Spring Cleaning Day" participated by five cities, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Manila and Quezon City on a simultaneous clean-up drive held yesterday at the Pasay City Sports Complex.
With the noble cause to push for cleaning and sanitation as one of the most effective ways to lower the country's disease burden, representatives from the Department of Health, (DOH), UP-National Institute of Health (UP-NIH), Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines, (PIDSP), Reckitt Beckinser, Lysol and several local government units called for a better sanitation through the institution of the first Philippine Spring Cleaning Day.
Those who attended the event were the Pasay Chief of Staff, Engr. Paredes, Dra. Mylene Atimano, Dr. Tita Uy, Dr. Cesar Encinares. Hon. Emy Calixto-Rubiano, Dr. Enrico Sampang and representatives of the local government units concerned. The event reported a joint study commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) revealing that at least 20 million Filipinos are exposed to poor sanitation. One-fourth of the Philippine population has poor hygiene practices, do not have the benefit of an accessible and safe toilet, or do not dispose human waste properly.
The simple washing of hands after using the bathroom not existent in the Philippine culture is one sad statistic that speaks of the country's unfortunate attitude towards cleaning and sanitation. Dr. Rodolfo Abornoz, Chief of the DOH's Environmental Office said that families should be mindful of the harmful effects of poor sanitation not only on their health but also on the other aspects of their lives.
Cong. Emy Calixto-Rubiano also reiterated the need to focus on household cleaning as a significant factor affecting health and the society. Bacteria dwell on everyday things in the home usually taken for granted by most Filipinos. "What people do not know is that they are more likely to get sick from germs and viruses in their own homes than in any other places."says Dr. Lester Deniega, President of PIDSP.
Prevention is better than cure and cleaning our homes will prevent harmful bacteria that carries the common deadly diseases we all suffer in the country today. I would rather spend too much money buying Lysol Disinfectant Spray and other cleaning products than spend more money on hospital bills because I've contributed greatly to the sad statistics of Filipinos poor sanitation practices.